Cost of Finance for Mining Projects

Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 7
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1990
The mining industry is generally regarded as a high risk industry, mainly because of the difficulties in estimating the tonnage and grade of mineral resources, the fluctuations in metal prices, mining problems and other problems which occur with mining in offshore and remote locations, such as appropriation or disruption to supply. As a consequence, finance providers require a high reward from mining projects. In the past two decades, the development of "mega" projects has led to the packaging of the finance becoming more sophisticated. Some would see this move as a measure of the evolution of banking rather than an intrinsic facet of mining finance itself. Project financial managers now require a thorough knowledge of all the financial tools which are available and have to be aware of the funding options so that they can put together a finance package which minimises the cost of the financing with the risk spread adequately between the partners of the financing. The different sources and types of finance for mining projects are described herein along with the factors which determine their costs. To understand the ramifications of financing mining projects, it is essential to appreciate the fundamental difference between debt and equity, which illustrates the importance of gearing. Costs of finance are determined by the interaction of supply and demand forces. Bankers and other financiers have become more adept at isolating a wide selection of risk elements and have devised a formidable range of insurance mechanisms. There is still a lot of money looking for good project risks and if a good project is properly presented and structured, financing can be obtained in today's market.
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